What are our rights against out landlord if my wife was locked out of our apartment but our kids were still asleep inside?

UPDATED: Dec 30, 2010

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What are our rights against out landlord if my wife was locked out of our apartment but our kids were still asleep inside?

Our trash is only about 10 feet away from our door and my wife walked out to take trash to the big can while our kids were in the room taking a nap. The place we live in uses electronic key cards and they turned her card off when she left the room and refused to reactivate it due to us being 3 days behind on rent – even though she told them our kids were in the room. It took the police coming out to get us back in. We were recently served with eviction papers and I want to bring this up in court but not sure what I need to say. What is the court going to do about it?

Asked on December 30, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Just on the issue of the cards, your landlord violated the law by basically resorting to self-help and locking you out illegally.  It would have been the same if he had waited until you left and physically changed the lock to the front door  if it used a key.  And to place your children in danger by changing the electronic code while they were inside sleeping, well, I dare say that the Judge will not look too kindly on that either.  However, it may not get you much in the eviction proceeding as a whole.  I would seek some help with all of this as soon as you can. Is there a way to make a deal with your landlord and stay in your place?  Otherwise you are going to have to vacate at some point. Good luck. 

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